Criminal Justice

Former jail guard convicted of sexual assault can rejoin military or go to jail, judge says

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A Kentucky judge on Friday told a former jail guard convicted of sexually assaulting an inmate that he could rejoin the military or report to jail.

Judge Thomas D. Wingate of Franklin County, Kentucky, gave the choice to 28-year-old Brandon Scott Price, according to the State Journal, Business Insider and the Washington Post.

Price had pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault, a Class A misdemeanor, his lawyer told Business Insider.

Wingate sentenced Price to a year in jail but probated the sentence for two years. He said Price had 30 days to enlist in the military, according to the State Journal.

“If you don’t enroll in 30 days, you can report to the Franklin County Regional Jail,” Wingate said. “You are under the gun, young man. You gotta do it.”

Price was accused of sexually assaulting an inmate in a transport van after he took her to the hospital for treatment of high blood pressure. According to the inmate’s lawsuit against Price and others, Price told the inmate that if she performed oral sex on him, he would talk to a contact about getting her released from jail early.

The inmate’s suit said she couldn’t consent to the sexual contact under the law. Price had denied the allegation but said he “made a stupid mistake. … I let a female inmate touch me inappropriately.”

Price’s lawyer, Whitney Lawson, told Business Insider that Price was an Army veteran and has already started the reenlistment process.

“It is not uncommon for judges to put unique conditions like this based on the defendant that is in front of them and create conditions that will best serve them to stay on the straight and narrow,” Lawson said. “It’s just that this one happened to have the military element to it.”

But Price could run into some problems. According to Business Insider, Price would have to seek a waiver to reenlist. And Lawson said she is getting conflicting information on the issue.

“The problem is you can ask 10 people whether he can reenlist and in what branch, and they’ll give you nine different answers, so we’re trying to work through that,” Lawson told Business Insider.

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